Today (9 February), the Ecosurety Exploration Fund announced three UK companies as their 2022 winners, collectively receiving £334,000. Concluding its final round, the fund rewards companies for their “vital and impactful solutions for the reuse and recycling sectors”.
Launched in 2019, the fund has since awarded £1m to innovative organizations in the waste and recycling sector. He intends to help projects address challenges around packaging, batteries and e-waste. Now supporting seven projects, applicants could receive up to £150,000 for projects to be completed within 12 months.
The second and final round entrants were called in June 2021, with the finalists in front of a panel of ten industry experts including Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF UK; Mark Miodownik, professor of materials and society at UCL; Margaret Bates, Executive Director of the OPRL; and Michelle Norman, Director of External Affairs and Sustainability, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and GB&I.
The first 2022 winner, ZAP (Zero Avoidable Packaging), led by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products, aims to develop scalable solutions to help reduce the amount of avoidable packaging waste in construction. Working with Cullinan Studio, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Mace and Morgan Sindall, the project will offer sector-wide guidance to help achieve zero avoidable waste from industry by 2050.
The second project, the ‘Somerset Repair Bus’, involves a traveling facility for sharing and collecting e-skills across the region. Conceptualized by Resource Futures, Somerset Waste Partnership and Donate-IT, the program aims to promote more productive electrical repair and reuse in rural communities.
The end recipient, “RE:Solve”, aims to solve today’s recycling complications caused by residual food waste. South West College in Northern Ireland has proposed to develop a new process to efficiently remove food waste from plastic packaging with small amounts of water, both of which will be recycled once separated.
Judge Paula China, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF UK, said: “It was a privilege to be a judge on the Ecosurety Exploration Fund this year and the high level of entries made it a very difficult decision. Congratulations to the successful applicants who have all demonstrated remarkable ambition to tackle unsustainable resource consumption and find meaningful ways to accelerate progress towards a circular economy.
“Opportunities like this allow us to explore ideas that lead to greater collective action and better outcomes for people and the planet, and – given the scale of the climate and natural crisis – c ‘is essential.”
Michelle Norman, Jury Member of Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and GB&I, added: “Judging the Ecosurety Exploration Fund has been an inspiring experience. All participants demonstrated a true entrepreneurial spirit backed by solid data and insights, and clearly demonstrated how they would turn their plan into tangible and measurable results.
“Funding the winning projects will help deepen our knowledge and understanding of how to tackle some of the UK’s most complex sustainability issues and I can’t wait to see the results.”
Will Ghali, CEO of Ecosurety, also said: “The Ecosurety Exploration Fund has proven to be a vital launchpad for innovative projects that offer real solutions to some of the key issues we face today. , with amazing results achieved by the first set of projects we funded. .
“As before, the second round attracted a diverse and inspiring line-up of outstanding projects, which made the job of the independent judges very tricky. We look forward to seeing the three winning projects accelerate us towards a more sustainable future and would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate or helped us select the most promising projects to fund.